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  1. #2371
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Strength Levels While Cutting Weight - Should You Expect to Get Stronger?

    Client Feedback - Keep in mind this client is in the final stages of a long-term fat loss phase.

    "There is one exercise that was a little tough for me and I had to adjust. The ab crunch machine you had listed at 50 pounds. I don't know if it was just a bad day or it was just that heavy, I had to drop to 40 pounds to complete the exercise in good form. I don't know why, but I couldn't really push forward too much. Otherwise I believe the other workouts were OK. Challenging as always but nothing I couldn't handle."

    My Response -

    "When it comes to training, you know how I feel about making those auto-adjustments when you need to......it's part of smart training. Ups and downs happen normally, but there tends to be more frequent downs the longer a person advances into a serious fat loss phase. This is just part of extended cutting and pulling energy from your body for a long period of time.

    I just wanted to mention that because I want you to know that it's normal for exercises to get tough and stay tough. When deep into a cut, the objective is to train with a goal of staying as strong as possible, but to also realize that 'as strong as possible' doesn't mean you won't lose strength.

    Depending on the experience level of the person cutting weight, strength levels can easily end up lower at the end of their cut than they were when they started. Generally, the more advanced a person is in the weight room, the more likely they are to lose strength during extended fat loss dieting.

    Those are my words of wisdom for you this week and it's good to think about them and keep things in perspective as you work on getting even leaner at the current calorie goal."

    Are you currently dieting for fat loss and not feeling your strongest? If you have any questions about this, just ask!
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  2. #2372
    Registered User Brocq17's Avatar
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    hey 2020, thanks for taking your time out to help out. Your regiment looks amazing.

    Quick question, would your workout work well for 50min-1hr gym sessions?

    I try to keep my gym sessions limited to my lunch hour for my job since I found that to be the most efficient.

    Edit: Any supplements/multi's you recommend taking?
    Last edited by Brocq17; 02-08-2017 at 12:17 PM.
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  3. #2373
    Registered User lessgravity's Avatar
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    No real reason except that I love the routine and sometimes feel like doing a third set before AMRAP.

    I'm seeing gains in every category, at different rates and paces, but it's feeling as awesome as I remember the routine to be.

    Just checking in.
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  4. #2374
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brocq17 View Post
    hey 2020, thanks for taking your time out to help out. Your regiment looks amazing.

    Quick question, would your workout work well for 50min-1hr gym sessions?

    I try to keep my gym sessions limited to my lunch hour for my job since I found that to be the most efficient.

    Edit: Any supplements/multi's you recommend taking?
    Thanks for posting your questions. I can tell you that I knock out the majority of my sessions in 50-70 minutes. These consist of 7 exercises usually. Some days take longer than others because of the rotating set/rep schemes taking different amounts of time. As an example, 2-3 sets of 20 doesn't take as long s 4-5 sets of 5. The 20 work is lighter and rest periods are shorter than the heavy work of the 5 rep sets.

    You could certainly do GST with an hour of time per workout.

    As for supplements, I'm a minimalist because I value my hard earned money and only use what has made me feel better:

    3-5g Creatine Monohydrate
    Basic Multivitamin
    Pre Bed ZMA
    150mg Caffeine preworkout
    Whey to help satisfy protein needs when I don't feel like whole food

    That's about it!

    Thanks again for posting,

    Ryan
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  5. #2375
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lessgravity View Post
    No real reason except that I love the routine and sometimes feel like doing a third set before AMRAP.

    I'm seeing gains in every category, at different rates and paces, but it's feeling as awesome as I remember the routine to be.

    Just checking in.
    This would fall into the category of auto-regulating your training. With enough experience, this can be done successfully. If you feel great one day and want to add in another set before your AMRAP, go for it. Don't make it mandatory though, which I guess is my main point for you.

    If you feel good about it that day, yes.
    Programming it in and feeling bad if you don't get it done, no.
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  6. #2376
    Registered User Brocq17's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    Thanks for posting your questions. I can tell you that I knock out the majority of my sessions in 50-70 minutes. These consist of 7 exercises usually. Some days take longer than others because of the rotating set/rep schemes taking different amounts of time. As an example, 2-3 sets of 20 doesn't take as long s 4-5 sets of 5. The 20 work is lighter and rest periods are shorter than the heavy work of the 5 rep sets.

    You could certainly do GST with an hour of time per workout.

    As for supplements, I'm a minimalist because I value my hard earned money and only use what has made me feel better:

    3-5g Creatine Monohydrate
    Basic Multivitamin
    Pre Bed ZMA
    150mg Caffeine preworkout
    Whey to help satisfy protein needs when I don't feel like whole food

    That's about it!

    Thanks again for posting,

    Ryan
    You state 7 exercises but your program seems to consist of one core + 2-4 supplemental lifts. What other exercises are you counting?
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  7. #2377
    Registered User lessgravity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    This would fall into the category of auto-regulating your training. With enough experience, this can be done successfully. If you feel great one day and want to add in another set before your AMRAP, go for it. Don't make it mandatory though, which I guess is my main point for you.

    If you feel good about it that day, yes.
    Programming it in and feeling bad if you don't get it done, no.




    Always appreciate the responses Ryan. Things are great, I can't wait to share my growth and results in a couple weeks.

    Another question:

    I'm currently in the middle of my second micro (6,6,AMRAP) of my second full macrocycle. I'm about to go away on a 2 week honeymoon in Sri Lanka. There may be some gyms here and there, there may not be. What do you do if you have that kind of break? Should I just take a 2 week break from the program? I'll be super active and hit gym etc here and there.

    Thoughts in general on vacations where gyms are not guaranteed?
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  8. #2378
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brocq17 View Post
    You state 7 exercises but your program seems to consist of one core + 2-4 supplemental lifts. What other exercises are you counting?
    The programming outlined in the threads on this site is basic GST programming. More advanced variations on the program tend to use more exercises per day. That is where the difference comes into play.
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  9. #2379
    Registered User Brocq17's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    The programming outlined in the threads on this site is basic GST programming. More advanced variations on the program tend to use more exercises per day. That is where the difference comes into play.
    Perfect, thanks for your help
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  10. #2380
    Registered User T0kyo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    The programming outlined in the threads on this site is basic GST programming. More advanced variations on the program tend to use more exercises per day. That is where the difference comes into play.
    Nice one!
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  11. #2381
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by T0kyo View Post
    Nice one!
    Bump'n up that post count?
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  12. #2382
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lessgravity View Post
    Always appreciate the responses Ryan. Things are great, I can't wait to share my growth and results in a couple weeks.

    Another question:

    I'm currently in the middle of my second micro (6,6,AMRAP) of my second full macrocycle. I'm about to go away on a 2 week honeymoon in Sri Lanka. There may be some gyms here and there, there may not be. What do you do if you have that kind of break? Should I just take a 2 week break from the program? I'll be super active and hit gym etc here and there.

    Thoughts in general on vacations where gyms are not guaranteed?
    I'd personally try to stay on the programming if there are adequate gyms around. You'll feel better if you do.

    If you can't, I'd restart the macro over once you get back.

    Have fun!
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  13. #2383
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Change Isn't Always Good; Here's An Example

    Question:

    "Hi Ryan,

    I'm having a great time with GST, making more gains in the past 5 weeks than I have in months!

    I just wanted to ask for your opinion on reverse pyramid training and whether it's worth incorporating into my core lifts only?"

    My Response:

    "Thanks for giving me an update on how the program is treating you. I would actually not incorporate anything different into the program right now, simply because you are having a great time with GST already and are making fast gains. If something isn't broken, don't try to fix it.

    I see it quite often where a person will take a great program and feel the need to make changes to it, even if it's working well for them. While no program is perfect and modifying it in a certain way may improve it, if too many random changes are made then the program starts to look like something very different from it's original state. This is why I don't recommend making changes to a well-designed program, especially if it's working wonders already."
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  14. #2384
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Direct ab training should be a part of your training program.

    There is one ab movement that I commonly implement in my clients' programs. This exercise is known, simply, as the plank.

    Typically, everyone can plank. The plank is a safe alternative to usual ab movements that might irritate an injured or weakened lower back.

    There are many variations that result in many different difficulty levels....two arms, one arm, two legs, one leg, planks with your hands close together or far apart, planks with your feet close together or far apart, planks with knee drive, planks with rowing, and the list goes on and on.

    Many of these variations allow for easy progressive overload, as weight can be added to the body to increase the need for new lean mass and strength, as well as overall increased activity level.

    When setting up for a plank, it is important to not let the core/hips droop below the imaginary line stretching from your shoulders to your heels. Many will view this as incorrect, but a drooping midsection will lead to unnecessary lower back stress and an inability to efficiently flex the ab muscles.

    If you perform a plank and you feel stress in your lower back, three things could be happening:

    1. Your hips/midsection is drooping below it's ideal point of positioning. Raise your hips a little.

    2. You aren't flexing your stomach muscles enough, creating a less supportive 'bridge.' Consciously flex your abs harder.

    3. Your abs just aren't currently strong enough to support the plank variation you're attempting. Move to an easier variation, removing your lower back stress. Advance back to the tougher variation when you're ready.

    If you're wondering about how long to plank, follow the schedule below, which corresponds to typical rep schemes.

    High rep supplement day = 90 second plank
    Medium rep supplement day = 60 second plank
    Low rep supplement day = 30 second plank

    Thanks for reading,

    Ryan
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  15. #2385
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Crucial Concept - The Importance of a Training Journal

    Quick Tip: Recording your training information eliminates future guesswork and leads to more efficient progress.

    Please remember this piece of advice as you complete each of your training days; journaling your work is extremely important!

    Q: Why is it important to monitor, in detail, all GST sessions?
    A: Journaling is something that I consider mandatory for maximizing the effect of any training program. The hard truth is this; if a trainee isn’t journaling their work, they simply aren’t training properly.

    When a trainee takes part in GST programming, it is going to be impossible for them to remember their weights used, reps completed, and sets completed for each exercise of each training session. Nobody can be expected to remember those details without journaling. GST programming thrives on ‘workout to workout’ improvements, and it will be impossible for the trainee to make those improvements if they don’t know how they performed during their last training session.

    Day to day improvements, estimated 1RMs, exercises performed, and personal notes are all pieces of information that should be recorded. The more a trainee can journal, the more impressively they’ll progress through their GST programming. There is simply no way around that fact.

    Q: What specifically do you want a trainee to record and monitor during their GST program?
    A: The trainee should monitor the following information for every exercise performed:

    1. The number of sets performed, including warm-up and working sets.

    2. The amount of weight used for each set, including warm-up and working sets.

    3. The number of reps completed for each set, including warm-up and working sets.

    4. They should also record any of their personal questions, concerns, or thoughts during the training session. Exercise notes are excellent as well.

    If a trainee journals those pieces of information for each training session, they will never have to worry about wasting time in the gym by guessing what they did last time to determine what they should be doing during their session at hand.
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    Gimmick Training vs The Real Deal

    I’ve found something very interesting in my years of training clients, friends, family, and myself; the less frequently a person changes up their programming concepts and their exercise selections, the more progress they make in multiple departments. These departments include strength gain, muscle building, and fat loss. Basically, by ignoring the gimmick of ‘muscle confusion’ and continually progressing with effective methods, people do better.

    While muscle confusion may sound interesting and cool, it’s really just a nonsensical marketing phrase designed to sell products to ill-informed people who don’t realize it’s actually inferior to a more consistent training approach, as seen with GST programming. In a nutshell, muscle confusion advocates are pushing a concept that actually hinders their progress relative to smarter, but less ‘cool’ training methods.
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  17. #2387
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    To change GST into 5 Days Week

    Hi Ryan.

    I think i would prefer to have a 5 days template instead of 4 days as i respond better to higher frequency!

    May i know how would you advise to change the current 4 days template into a 5 days template?

    Would it be simply Lift - Press - Pull - Squat - Lift - Press, etc?

    Thanks for your help!

    Regards
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  18. #2388
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Andelony View Post
    Hi Ryan.

    I think i would prefer to have a 5 days template instead of 4 days as i respond better to higher frequency!

    May i know how would you advise to change the current 4 days template into a 5 days template?

    Would it be simply Lift - Press - Pull - Squat - Lift - Press, etc?

    Thanks for your help!

    Regards
    Andelony,

    The answer to this question is simple. If you would like a higher frequency of training, why not just train 5 days per week and rotate through the usual four GST weight days? You'll get through macrocycles quicker and frequency will be increased.

    Also, there is a twice-weekly variation of GST programming that allows you to hit all muscle groups twice per week in four training days.

    Either one of those options above would get the job done for you,

    Ryan
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    Hi Wellness.

    I have just started your trial program and am enjoying it. I have a few questions about diet/suppliments etc.

    Happy to pay some $ for your help if you wouldnt mind PM'ing me.

    Thanks

    Sam
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    Originally Posted by jamsltd View Post
    Hi Wellness.

    I have just started your trial program and am enjoying it. I have a few questions about diet/suppliments etc.

    Happy to pay some $ for your help if you wouldnt mind PM'ing me.

    Thanks

    Sam
    Sam, I'm heading to my inbox now because I see you've already sent your message. You'll hear back from me directly.

    Thanks,

    Ryan
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    Got your email asking me to confirm I got it (Which I have done) - awaiting your response

    Thanks
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    Does anyone really not like the 3x20 I love this plan but the 3x20 kill me
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    Hi, I just want to ask if what kind of workout you can recommend for a 23 year old woman weighing 64 kgs? I think I need to do first the basic since I don't have any experience in any exercise routine in a gym or fitness program.
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    Originally Posted by scotia80 View Post
    Does anyone really not like the 3x20 I love this plan but the 3x20 kill me
    I love it on the upper body days and it can get me a little on the lower body days. The best part about it is the mega-pumps though!
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    Originally Posted by ZandreaValdez View Post
    Hi, I just want to ask if what kind of workout you can recommend for a 23 year old woman weighing 64 kgs? I think I need to do first the basic since I don't have any experience in any exercise routine in a gym or fitness program.
    Zandrea,

    It's actually entirely possible for you to use this program as a beginner. There are variations of the core and supplement scheme rotations that would make it a great program for you.

    For the core lifts I would recommend going through the 60, 70, and 80% schemes and leaving the 90% scheme out for the first couple of macrocycles.

    For the supplement lifts, I would recommend working the medium set/rep scheme only for the first 1-2 macrocycles. That will give you a linearly progressing effect and then you can start to work in some rotating set/rep schemes (high rep and low rep) once you're a couple of macrocycles in.

    I have never seen a beginner fail to progress on this program, especially when those variations are implemented!

    Thanks for asking,

    Ryan
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    Protein Needs - Does 1g/lb of Bodyweight Even Make Sense?

    If you find someone asking about protein needs for muscle growth, you're going to find 100 people recommending '1g/lb of bodyweight.' It's the classic answer, but it isn't mine.

    1g per pound of bodyweight is a very generic way of doing things that makes about as much sense as relying on the outdated BMI measurement you'll still see at your next doctor appointment.

    BMI is flawed because it doesn't take into account body composition. It simply contrasts height versus weight. It doesn't take into account how much of that weight is muscle and how much is fat. You see the issue there? A 200lb avid lifter and a 200lb couch potato of the same height are not created equal.

    1g/lb of bodyweight has the exact same problem! You could have a 250lb female who hasn't lifted weights before and by the 1g/lb standard she would be told to eat 250g of protein per day. Her amount of lean body mass might be only 100lbs, which is completely realistic for an overweight female. Her consuming 250g of protein for her 100lbs of lean body mass is ridiculous.

    I base protein needs off of lean body mass, aka that 100lbs in the example above. I don't base protein needs off of total bodyweight because it isn't logical. People that do really don't understand the inherent problems with it and are probably just parroting something they heard someone else say one day in the gym. If you presented my above point to them, and they're open-minded, they'd probably admit that basing protein needs off of LBM makes much more sense than the junk '1g/lb of bodyweight' recommendation.
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    Struggling With Size Loss During Fat Loss - A Message to All GSTers Trying to Stay BIG

    If staying big matters to you, the size loss that happens when cutting fat can be mentally challenging. This is especially true if you aren't expecting it and go into your cut thinking you're going to stay the same size, but just be ripped instead of soft. It doesn't work like that.

    Think of it in this overly simplified way:

    Your size is made up of muscle and fat, the more you have of each, the bigger you'll be. Muscle takes up space. Fat takes up space.

    When you lose more and more fat from your body, your body takes up less and less space. If you lose fat the right way, you won't lose muscle so the space muscle takes up won't change.

    Overall you'll have no loss of muscle size, but you'll have a loss of fat size. As you can tell, this results in you becoming physically smaller.

    While this is simple to understand, it's still hard to accept and experience when growing and staying big is one of your foundational goals. But like I said, if you expect it and understand why it's happening, it will be easier on your mentally. Hopefully this post helps you in that way.
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    I am really liking the look of this program. I have spent the last 2 weeks reading through most of the post in the original thread and a bunch in this "new" thread. I am definitely going to be giving this a try. I am looking for a program that will keep my time in the gym to right around an hour. That being said I want that hour to be super productive.

    I do have just one quick question. I apologize if this was covered already. I tried to read through most of the posts but there is a lot.

    I like to train each body part two days a week usually. I understand that this program isn't set up that way, but I was curious if I could still hit each part 2 days a week.

    I was thinking something like this:

    week 1 (day 1)
    core lift: bench 65% 1RM 10 reps, 3sets, 1 all out set
    supplement lifts: DB fly 10-15reps 3 sets
    Seated row 10-15reps 3 sets
    DB bench 10-15reps 3 sets
    Lat pull 10-15reps 3 sets
    Hanging leg lifts 15reps 3 sets

    Or something like that....

    So basically I would doing a chest focused chest/back day.
    I would structure the days as such:
    chest/back-core lift: bench
    Legs/arms-core lift: squat
    Shoulder/chest-core lift: over head press
    Back/legs-core lift: deadlifts

    I would follow the rep ranges for core lifts based of my 1RM just like the program lays out. I would just through in a few supplemental lifts for opposing muscle groups.

    I always feel like I get so much more out of my workouts when I work opposing muscles groups.

    Any advice or pointers are appreciated.
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    Originally Posted by cwsmith03 View Post
    Any advice or pointers are appreciated.
    Check out this post. It's a basic layout for a twice weekly program. I ran it for a while and it worked well. https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1410702823
    Overall this program is excellent for anyone looking to keep their workouts to an hour or less. I ran a different program for a while, and was satisfied with it, but the fact that it took me around 90 minutes meant that I ended up skipping workouts much more frequently knowing that I didn't have time to complete them. Despite the shorter sessions, I actually end up with more total time under the bar when running GST because I'm able to show up and get through my workouts on a much more consistent basis. If you stick to the structure and the timing suggested, your time will be extremely productive.


    It's been quite a while since I've posted here, so here's a little update. I transitioned into a new job, and have been working around 70 hours/week since December. During the first 3-4 months with the new schedule I slacked off on lifting big time, thinking I'd get back into it soon enough once my working hours returned to a more normal level. That hasn't happened, so I've just had to suck it up and make time. Over the past couple of months I've gotten back on track, and I haven't missed a scheduled workout in about a month and a half now. I'm starting to feel really good in the gym, and my strength is nearly back to what it was before the break. On a lot of the lifts I'm feeling stronger than I ever have. I started this program as basically a total newbie, and I've finally gotten enough reps in on each of the movements to feel really comfortable. I'm in a groove right now, and hoping to keep it going for a long time. The one thing that's holding me back at the moment is some pain/weakness in my left shoulder. I've had issues with my shoulders for as long as I can remember...grinding/cracking/popping, often feeling like something's out of place. It's never really hindered me until the last three weeks or so though, where it's starting having a significant affect on my Incline Press. I've been having pain during the last bit when lowering the bar down to my chest, and again initially when I try to press it back up. I'm set to see my doctor about it in a few days. Hopefully it's nothing major, but regardless I need figure out what's up with it.
    I start Micro #3 tomorrow with Lift Day, along with the dreaded 20 rep supplemental lifts. Should be fun.
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    Originally Posted by cwsmith03 View Post
    I am really liking the look of this program. I have spent the last 2 weeks reading through most of the post in the original thread and a bunch in this "new" thread. I am definitely going to be giving this a try. I am looking for a program that will keep my time in the gym to right around an hour. That being said I want that hour to be super productive.

    I do have just one quick question. I apologize if this was covered already. I tried to read through most of the posts but there is a lot.

    I like to train each body part two days a week usually. I understand that this program isn't set up that way, but I was curious if I could still hit each part 2 days a week.

    I was thinking something like this:

    week 1 (day 1)
    core lift: bench 65% 1RM 10 reps, 3sets, 1 all out set
    supplement lifts: DB fly 10-15reps 3 sets
    Seated row 10-15reps 3 sets
    DB bench 10-15reps 3 sets
    Lat pull 10-15reps 3 sets
    Hanging leg lifts 15reps 3 sets

    Or something like that....

    So basically I would doing a chest focused chest/back day.
    I would structure the days as such:
    chest/back-core lift: bench
    Legs/arms-core lift: squat
    Shoulder/chest-core lift: over head press
    Back/legs-core lift: deadlifts

    I would follow the rep ranges for core lifts based of my 1RM just like the program lays out. I would just through in a few supplemental lifts for opposing muscle groups.

    I always feel like I get so much more out of my workouts when I work opposing muscles groups.

    Any advice or pointers are appreciated.
    Hey Smith (nice name because Smith is my middle name, haha),

    CW47 actually laid out a nice link to a great post on the twice-weekly variation of GST. I like to call it High Freakquency GST. Here is the general information of that post:

    Squat Day
    Squat Core
    Lift Supplement
    Squat Supplement
    Squat Supplement
    Upper Back Supplement (think shrugs, face pulls, etc)
    Add in possible ab/weak point training where needed.

    Pull/OHP Day
    Pull Core
    OHP Core
    Pull Supplement
    Press Supplement
    Pull Supplement
    Possible Tricep Isolation
    Add in possible ab/weak point training where needed.

    Lift Day
    Lift Core
    Squat Supplement
    Lift Supplement
    Lift Supplement
    Upper Back Supplement (think shrugs, face pulls, etc)
    Add in possible ab/weak point training where needed.

    Press Day
    Press Core
    Press Supplement
    Pull Supplement
    Press Supplement
    Possible Bicep Isolation
    Add in possible ab/weak point training where needed.

    As you can see above, this would give you both quad dominant and ham posterior chain lower body work twice per week, upper back work twice per week, pressing and pulling twice per week, bicep/tricep work twice per week, and the chance to add in further weak point and ab training too.

    Doing this split adds exercise amount to each day, but that is OK. I usually hit 6-8 exercises per day on this type of split and it works well for me. I've been using this variation for years now and I like it. I like both once-weekly and twice-weekly training, but mix it up every couple of years.

    Thanks for checking into my thread and let me know if you have other questions in the future,

    Ryan
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